At the King's Pentecostal court, the knights are offered the chance of either travelling with Prince Madoc on a mission to save France from the invading Franks or being part of the King's army as they travel to confront King Cadwy of Somerset. The majority chose the latter but Sir Miles travelled with the Prince's Expeditionary Force.
King Uther met with Cadwy, but the latter needed proof that Uther was governing for the good of the people. There was a problem; malevolent faerie beasts, the Water Leapers, had plagued the biggest fishing lake in the county and Cadwy needed help in defeating them. The knights of Salisbury volunteered for the mission and proceeded to the lake with Sir Bradwen being placed in charge.
The plan was to use 4 boats, each with a crew of 3, to scour the lake for the creatures. It wasn't long before they attacked; 5 Water Leapers in total. Looking like giant toads with wings and with a chitinous exoskeleton, they could propel themselves out of the water, through the air and into the small rowing boats. Worse, they would grab a hapless victim in their sharp jaws and drag them underwater. This happened a number of times with both Sir Breunis and Sir Lloren being pulled in, underwater, and risking being drowned. Qvintvs Aqvilla, dove into the lake to rescue Breunis whilst Sofitia kept up a barrage of arrows onto the beasts.
After a tough fight, where the knights ended up more soaked through than injured, the Water Leapers were defeated but there was a nagging doubt that there could be more out there so Sir Bradwen ordered the expedition to continue but with the extra precaution of having everyone lash themselves to their boats with rope.
As the group approached the centre of the lake, a series of whirlpools suddenly appeared in the water around them and started to spin and whirl some of the boats around. Once the group was separated from each other, a huge, even more viscious Water Leaper was spied under the water prompting Quintus Aquilla to say "forsooth! By mine own eyes I doth think we needeth a bigger boat!"
The creature leapt upwards out of the water and attacked Urien, the squire of Sir Bradwen, bringing him down in one fell swoop. Their boat managed to wrangle itself away from the creature but it changed to attack Sir Lloren's boat instead. The portly knight was knocked off his feet and was pulled into the water, despite being lashed to the boat. They thrashed around in the water but Sir Lloren's luck just held out and he was not dragged under before Sir Bradwen could pull him out.
The other boats had a difficult time navigating past the whirlpools and trying to keep formation but at the end, everyone managed to converge on the point of the Water Leaper. In a final, desperate, act of fury, the Queen Water Leaper managed to severely wound Sir Breunis and Quintus before she was slain.
Returning to the village, the knights spent 3 weeks convalescing with Sir Bradwen taking the water leaper's wings for a trophy. Once the wounded were well enough to travel, they returned to the 2 kings where they were thanked. King Cadwy then willingly submitted his authority to King Uther.
Back in Salisbury, the knights were confronted by a Jute chieftan called Bassa. He demanded the return to him of Sofitia, who he considers his property. In exchange, he offered to bring a captured Wulfhere to Salisbury. Despite a frosty reception on both sides, the knights agreed and and money was offered to Bassa in lieu of handing over Sofitia to him.
In the wintertime, it was discovered the Quintus' brother, Sextus, had been killed trying to avenge his mother.
Sir Bradwen, composed an ode to Lady Gwen but she tired of hearing his turgid prose and instead kissed him passionately, revealing that she has strong feelings for him.
In the meantime, Prince Madoc returned from France. He cut short the expedition and returned his army to Logres, having only liberated Rouen although he had brought back a great deal of loot. Madoc said that the French cause was lost anyway, and that the Praetor Syragrius' boozing and womanising jeapardised the mission in the first place.